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8 The Andrés Iniesta Luján Thread

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#16   Oki-Wan Kenoki

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 10:52 PM

Iniesta signing a new contract on my birthday. Sweet.
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#17   Jag

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 03:17 AM

Great news to read just as I get home. Glad to see that all the key pieces are getting signed and locked up.
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#18   FCBarça

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 04:52 PM

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#19   cruyff14

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 04:57 PM

I was never really worried about his future with the club, he seems to be happy and willing to stay at Barcelona
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#20   FCBarça

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 05:12 PM

"It's a very special day," he enthused to Barca TV.

"I want to thank the president [Joan Laporta], the board and [technical secretary] Txiki Begiristain for continuing to have faith in me. It's one more step towards realising my dream, which is to retire here.

"I would like to end my career here, and look back and see all the titles that we have won - that's what makes us happy. I will fight for this."


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#21   ggabriell

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 10:21 PM

WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! i <3 nesti
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#22   GoingRaw

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 04:03 PM

If Iniesta can manage to score some goals and set up some decisive goals this season, he'd surely be considered for Ballon d'or next year. This man is a tremendous football player. Absolutely world class. I remember a discussion a while ago on Soccerpulse about which players in this barca side could be considered world class, and Iniesta was, by the majority of the posters, considered on the verge of world class. Last season though proved he was that and beyond.
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#23   cruyff14

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 07:53 PM

The only way Iniesta, or any player, will win the ballon d'or is by dominating the WC. As much as I hate to say it, the awards will surely be heavily based on the WC and whoever has the best 6 games or so will be rewarded with the prizes at the end of the year.
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#24   GoingRaw

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:13 PM

The only way Iniesta, or any player, will win the ballon d'or is by dominating the WC. As much as I hate to say it, the awards will surely be heavily based on the WC and whoever has the best 6 games or so will be rewarded with the prizes at the end of the year.

Yea I guess. How Cannavaro won it over Thuram though in WC06 still baffles me. I don't remember the tournament so vividly, but I never remember Canna being a stand-out player. Ribery, Thuram and Camonaresi springs to mind as better players. Plus, Barca had just won the double that season, right?

Anyhow, Spain's got a great shot at WC10, this is their year to win it. In my opinion, at the moment, Brazil (with their organized and still entertaining football) and England (with their Capello-factor) are the most prominent contenders for the title. If these two get knocked out before they face Spain, then it's smooth sailing for them.

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#25   Roger

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:33 PM

Iniesta was asked why he told CR06 to be quite, his answer:

"Me dijo que no me tirara y le dije que se callara, porque él no es el más indicado para hablar de eso"

Translated: He told me not to dive and I told him to shut up, because he's not the best one to be talking about this.

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#26   Daniel

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:46 PM

Iniesta was asked why he told CR06 to be quite, his answer:

"Me dijo que no me tirara y le dije que se callara, porque él no es el más indicado para hablar de eso"

Translated: He told me not to dive and I told him to shut up, because he's not the best one to be talking about this.

In fairness, if anyone can talk about diving, then it's Cristiano Ronaldo. And he knows a diver when he sees one; thus pointing out Iniesta.

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#27   Zin

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 12:15 AM

Didn't have his best game. Made a couple dribbles and a couple nice flicks, but horrid in possession overall this evening.
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#28   Mujeriego

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 05:26 AM

Andres Iniesta: 'Don’t call me Rambo'
The self-effacing Barça star loves Rocky films and hopes to help his side deliver a knockout blow to Real Madrid

Andres Iniesta glows at night. Or at least that’s how they portray him, with his porcelain complexion, in the popular satire Crackovia, which lampoons Barcelona’s football team on Catalan television each week. In the show, Iniesta is the shy, boyish, benevolent, slightly sleepy figure whose pale face can light itself up in the dark, to the awed fascination of his colleagues.

Iniesta laughs at the caricature, though he is keen to add that the reticent, withdrawn and timid figure of the comedy is unlike the real man. Give him some time under a sun lamp, he jokes, and he would tan like any Mediterranean native. Give him a cause or a challenge and he can turn as aggressive as more demonstrative colleagues. The public Iniesta may be self-effacing; in the private one lurks a Sylvester Stallone.

Listen to this description of the build-up to this year’s Champions League final. Iniesta had seemed a doubt to face Manchester United because of injury. He pushed himself. “Leading up to the final, I was prepared to sacrifice everything to be there. Think of the film Rocky. That was me, only without the woolly hat and without landing punches into lumps of meat,” he says. Iniesta played in Rome; he excelled and Barcelona won. On returning home, the city serenaded through the streets and a capacity crowd greeted the players at Camp Nou. Iniesta had dressed up for it: “I had a scarf around my head, like Rambo.” There is a wry mischief in these observations, because Iniesta knows his appearance does not suggest a warrior. He stands barely 5ft 7in and, with his wan skin and retreating hairline, looks impossibly dainty for a rough sport. The European champions play their best football when the diminutive Xavi is setting the pulse, little Leo Messi attacking the penalty area and Iniesta divining and irrigating the paths in between. Nobody would cast Stallone to play any of those three.

Iniesta often glows best on the big nights. Against Internazionale on Tuesday, he seized the authority from the start of a Champions League fixture that had assumed an alarming importance for the title-holders. Barcelona had the match won within half an hour. Asked why Barça had looked so superior to his Inter, the defeated coach, Jose Mourinho, merely posed another question: “How many Iniestas are there in the world?” Two days later, Barcelona had given Iniesta a new contract carrying a buyout clause of €200m while his coach, Pep Guardiola, beamed: “Iniesta is a jewel.”

The head coach and Iniesta go back a long way. Guardiola was Barcelona’s captain when the 12-year-old Iniesta left his pueblo of Fuentealbilla in La Mancha to move 300-odd miles to board at Barça’s fabled La Masia and study at the club’s academy. He cried with homesickness, at first. By his mid-teens he was recognised not only as a footballer with fine close control, at speed, head raised, eyes alert to movements around him, but as a telepathic passer. That soon identified him as the bearer of a baton Barcelona prize like a royal sceptre: the home-grown midfield visionary, a line that runs from Guardiola, now 38, through Xavi, 29, to Iniesta, 25, to Cesc Fabregas, 22, and once of La Masia. Guardiola gilded the legend by pointing to the young Iniesta when he was playing in a youth team and saying to Xavi: “That guy is going to retire us both.”

Iniesta made his first-team debut at 18. His versatility helped advance his career — he fluctuated between central midfield, sometimes deep, sometimes advanced, and was also asked to play on the left and right wings. If he had a defect in his first few seasons, it was his finishing. He had all the equipment to work himself into threatening territory but an untrustworthy shot. He worked on that and the labour paid off in the second leg of a Champions League semi-final in London. At Stamford Bridge that night in May, Iniesta’s drive in the final minute of stoppage time sent Barcelona to Rome. “It was the greatest moment of my career,” says Iniesta, in whose forthcoming diary of the season, Un Any Al Paradis, the strike is described thus: “I connected with that shot with the outside, not the inside or the tip of my boot, but right from my heart, with all my might.”

He celebrated with uncharacteristic abandon. “I stripped off my shirt, which is something I never do. I then thought the referee would book me for that.” The Norwegian official, Tom Ovrebo, who made a series of notoriously poor judgments, took a benign view of the shirtless Iniesta.

That counts as a Rambo moment. There have been rockier times, too. Iniesta lost one of his closest friends in football in August when Dani Jarque, the captain of Espanyol, collapsed and died. They had been roommates in various Spain youth and under-21 squads. Iniesta had been looking through the souvenirs of his career just before he heard the news and had come across “about 20 jerseys” given to him at various times by Jarque. He found himself reduced suddenly to tears for weeks afterwards, asking: “What is it all about?”

Iniesta is a sensitive man who talks affectionately of his family and friends, and is just as happy relating how, a few days after winning a unique Liga-Copa-Champions League treble, he was mistaken for a waiter in a restaurant as he is remembering the nights that glowed.

There is one story at which he glowers, a rumour that, as a boy, he supported Real Madrid. Barcelonistas would forgive Iniesta were it true but he says it is not and his explanation of how the tale surfaced sounds sweet. “As I child I was a culé, a Barça fan, but my real first team was the local one, Albacete. Then when I was about seven, Barcelona beat Albacete and scored seven goals. Seven! Against my Albacete! So I felt very angry and for a little while I went around saying I preferred Madrid just because I was upset with Barça.”

The edge between the two grandees of Iberia, who meet at Camp Nou tonight, only sharpens with maturity, adds Iniesta. “In the build-up to a Barcelona-Madrid game, the players feel the same as the fans. There is a high-level tension, a good tension. This is the game that paralyses the whole country, even when the league’s already been won or lost, even if there’s 15 points separating the sides.” The current distance is one point, the challengers just ahead of the champions in La Liga. Yet Barcelona will be fortified by recalling that by the end of the most recent episode of club football’s most famous rivalry the distance between the clubs was four goals. Barcelona’s 6-2 win seven months ago in Madrid set records and left a profound impression on Iniesta as he was substituted with the outcome certain and left the field.

“As I walked towards our bench I heard the ovation from the crowd. But it wasn’t our fans. It was the Bernabeu regulars. I don’t think the clapping was for me particularly but it was recognition of the football we had played. That’s not something you see every day, the Bernabeu giving an ovation to their ultimate rival. They were clapping a team who had just put six past their side. And not just any team, the one they most despise. I’ll never forget that.”

So, a noble gesture from a noble old foe, then? “As far as the people who go to the Bernabeu stadium are concerned, they like to watch good football. But the idea of this ‘senorio blanco’, the gentlemanliness of Real Madrid, does get a bit exaggerated.”

Iniesta apparently felt obliged to add that point, in case he should be mistaken for somebody harbouring a grain of affection for the club from Spain’s capital.

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#29   cruyff14

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 01:57 PM

That was an incredible piece on Iniesta, only bad thing about it was that it had to end.
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"In his life, a man can change wives, political parties or religions but he cannot change his football club." -Eduardo Galleano

#30   Squibo

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:30 PM

Quality read that one. Thanks Mauro.
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